Please read and sign this Petition regarding the Pechanga Band's rights violations.
You can download and fax the letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at (202) 228-2589. You can also send via email by cutting and pasting the letter and using this link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking action to address this important issue.
January 11, 2008
Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senate
838 Hart Office Building
Washington , DC 20510
Re: Protecting the Victims of Violence in Indian Country
Dear Chairman Dorgan:
It is about time that the United States Congress take action to address the public safety crisis that exists in Indian Country. Indian people are being subjected to acts of violence at an alarming rate, and jurisdictional issues within the law enforcement and judicial systems in Indian Country create an environment where the victims’ attempts to seek justice are often denied.
During the September 2007 oversight hearing on The Prevalence of Violence against Indian Women, those who testified clearly demonstrated that physical violence in Indian Country is a terrible problem. And it was recounted on several occasions that the victims of violent acts such as assault and rape often find themselves with no form of redress as tribal, state, and federal authorities are hindered by problems of jurisdiction. As a result, the abusers act with complete immunity while the victims live in fear of further abuse.
The very circumstances which deny the victims of physical violence any justice also prevent the victims of non-physical violence from seeking redress. Lack of jurisdiction, immunity for the abusers, and a failure to protect basic rights characterize the growing number of violent acts against Indian people which are based on basic rights violations. Just as with the victims of physical violence, the failure to prosecute basic rights violations has created an environment for individuals to prey on others and left a wake of victims numbering in the thousands.
Congress must act to address the violence- the physical harm and violations of rights- in Indian Country. It is time to provide meaningful recourse for the victims of violent acts and to fix the problems that allow those who commit violent acts to do so with impunity. It is also crucial that any “fixes” prescribed address both physical and non-physical abuse; anything less will be a failure to protect victims of violence in Indian Country.